Kenneth H. Cooper (born March 4, 1931, Oklahoma City) is a doctor of medicine and former Air Force Colonel from Oklahoma, who pioneered the benefits of doing aerobic exercise for maintaining and improving health. He is the author of the 1968 book Aerobics, which emphasized a point system for improving the cardiovascular system. The popular mass market version was The New Aerobics (ISBN 0-553-26874-0), published ten years later.
A native of Oklahoma City, Cooper completed a 13-year military career. During his Air Force career, he devised a simple test (the Cooper test, originally the distance run in 12 minutes) which correlated well with the existing concept of VO2max, and so could conveniently be used to quickly establish the fitness level of large numbers of people. He left the Air Force in 1970, when he and his wife, Millie, moved to Dallas to found the Cooper Aerobics Center.
Cooper developed the Smart Snack Ribbon guidelines put into use by the convenient fun foods division of PepsiCo, Inc., Frito-Lay.
Cooper is the founder of the non-profit research and education organization, The Cooper Institute, which was opened in 1970. Cooper is also the founder of and Chairman at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas and McKinney, Texas, which comprises eight health and wellness entities.
Cooper has published 18 books that have sold 30 million copies and been translated into 41 languages. Cooper encouraged millions into being active and helped to launch modern fitness culture. He is now known as the "father of aerobics".
Ideas on exercise and training effect
Cooper studied the effect of exercise in the late 1960s and popularized the term "training effect" although that term had been used before. The measured effects were that muscles of respiration were strengthened, the heart was strengthened, blood pressure was sometimes lowered and the total amount of blood and number of red blood cells increased, making the blood a more efficient carrier of oxygen. VO2 Max was increased. He published his ideas in a book, Aerobics in 1968.
The exercise necessary can be accomplished by any aerobic exercise in a wide variety of schedules - Cooper found it best to award "points" for each amount of exercise and require 30 points a week to maintain the Training Effect.
Cooper instead recommended a "12-minute test" (the Cooper test) followed by adherence to the appropriate starting-up schedule in his book. As always, he recommends that a physical exam should precede any exercise program.
The physiological effects of training have received much further study since Cooper's original work. It is now generally considered that effects of exercise on general metabolic rate (post-exercise) are comparatively small and the greatest effect occurs for only a few hours. Though endurance training does increase the VO2 max of many people, there is considerable variation in the degree to which it increases VO2 max between individuals.
- "Kenneth Cooper, MD, MPH". Cooper Aerobics Center.
Born March 4, 1931, in Oklahoma City
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- (U.S.), National College Physical Education Association for Men (1959). Proceedings [of The] Annual Meeting. Office of Publications Services, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle.
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- Bouchard, Claude; An, Ping; Rice, Treva; Skinner, James S.; Wilmore, Jack H.; Gagnon, Jacques; Pérusse, Louis; Leon, Arthur S.; Rao, D. C. (September 1999). "Familial aggregation of V̇O2max response to exercise training: results from the HERITAGE Family Study". Journal of Applied Physiology. 87 (3): 1003–8. doi:10.1152/jappl.19126.96.36.1993. PMID 10484570.
- Aerobics (1968)
- Run for Your Life: Aerobic Conditioning for Your Heart (1974)
- The Aerobics Way: New Data on the World's Most Popular Exercise Program (1978)
- The New Aerobics (1979)
- Aerobics for Women (1982)
- The Aerobics Program for Total Well-being: Exercise, Diet, Emotional Balance (1982, 1983)
- Fitness for Life, 6 Audio Cassettes (1983)
- Aerobics Program (1985)
- Running Without Fear (1986)
- The New Aerobics for Women (1988)
- Preventing Osteoporosis: Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper's Preventive Medicine Program (1989)
- Controlling Cholesterol: Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper's Preventative Medicine Program (1989)
- Reducing Cholesterol: A Heart-Smart Guide to Low-Fat Eating (No Nonsense Health Guide) (1989)
- Overcoming Hypertension: Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper's Preventive Medicine Program (1990)
- Kid Fitness: a Complete Shape-up Program From Birth Through High School (1991)
- Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper's Antioxidant Revolution (1994)
- Its Better To Believe (1995)
- Faith-based Fitness The Medical Program That Uses Spiritual Motivation To Achieve Maximum Health And *Add Years To Your Life (1997)
- Antioxidant Revolution (1997)
- Can Stress Heal? Converting A Major Health Hazard Into A Surprising Health Benefit (1998)
- Advanced Nutritional Therapies (1998)
- Regaining the Power of Youth at Any Age (1998)
- Discoveries (1999)
- Controlling Cholesterol the Natural Way Eat Your Way to Better Health With New Breakthrough Food
- Matters of the Heart: Adventures in Sports Medicine (2007)
- Start Strong, Finish Strong (2007)